Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Majoring in Biology, am I worse off?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by PreMedDoc, Apr 4, 2000.

  1. PreMedDoc

    PreMedDoc Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am majoring in a BA in Biology at my school in New York City. I have an interest in Biology and it isn't overly difficult at my school. I was also told that majoring in it would prepare me well for the Biology part of my MCATs. I could have majored in Psychology or History but I felt that if I didn't get into medical school, a BA in Biology would be something that I could fall back on. (as far as other jobs in sciences, bio research, and health related business world opportunities). However, I would have had a much easier time majoring in something like history most probably and I really liked it in high school. So did I make the wrong decision? Would I have a better chance to get into medical school with a history major?
    Would anyone who is involved or has been involved in the admissions process please let me know.

    Thanks in advance

    Alex from New York City [​IMG]


    [This message has been edited by PreMedDoc (edited 04-05-2000).]
     
  2. nicolette

    nicolette Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 1999
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Alex,
    When I was an undergrad, I went through a situation similar to yours. I was trying to decide what to major in and was considering all of the pros and cons of majoring in bio. Now that I will be starting med school this fall, I have gained a lot of perspective on pre-med concerns and will share with you something that I wish somebody had told me. First, any science courses that you take beyond the prereqs will help you in some way on the bio section MCAT. However, you can take some upper division bio classes as a history major, also. Being a history major will give you an advantage on ALL the sections of the MCAT. The test is becoming more passage based and your reading comprehension ability will help tremendously in many of the science passages. I believe that the kind of reading that you're exposed to and required to read in history courses will help you in this way. My point is this-what you major in will be comparably minor to the time you put in towards studying for the MCAT. That being said, I think you should major in what makes sense to you and what you believe is practical. But since you've indicated an affinity for history, I'm inclined to tell you to major in history. If you go into medicine, you will be in the sciences for the rest of your life. you might not get chances to learn and delve into history classes in the future. As far as a history major being favored in med school admissions, statistics show otherwise. What you major in is nowhere near as important as learning what you enjoy, doing well in your classes, and doing well on the MCATS.

    I wish you the best.
     
  3. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex,

    I would say that you should study what truly interests you, be it history or biology or whatever. I was a history major (though wasn't planning on going to med school at the time). I took the bare minimum of science classes later on in a post-bacc and did reasonably well on the MCAT. It really is a reading comprehension test, not a science test. Looking back, I still would have majored in history even if I had been planning on going directly to med school.`

    By the way, if you look at the AAMC stats for accepted med students, the majors with the highest acceptance rates are English, philosophy and history, although in fairness there are far fewer of these people applying than bio majors. In my med school class, I've found quite a few humanities majors and we're holding our own academically despite not having extensive science backgrounds.


     
  4. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex, As in their advice to others, I feel nicolette and besyonek are again right on. I teach the MCAT at Kaplan, and must say that it really is reading comp-based (especially since your verbal score is directly correlated with success in clinical years, which, as you may know, is a crucial determinant of where you get matched with for residencies!)

    I was a psych major, subspecializing in neurobiology. It allowed me to take advanced-level bio classes, which did help with my score on the bio portion (although i think a lot of other things helped with that- like my experience in medical research) More importantly though, my psych major gave me a wide base in critical reading, a knowledge of human nature (sort of), and something to look forward to after a long day of O-chem. I cant tell you how much easier it makes it to study if after 6 hours of reading for O-chem you can turn to your article on how mind control tactics can be used to foster agression in military situations and just really get absorbed in something you love!

    Study what you're passionate about, Alex! It will make you a more interesting and feeling person, and that, hopefully, is what really will impress medical schools

     
  5. DentalDi

    DentalDi Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 1999
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree w/the previous posters about majoring in whatever interests you. But, as a bio major, I'll offer a slightly different perspective. Obviously, as the others said, for med school admission purposes it really doesn't seem to matter (history vs. biology) what you major in. However, you should also think (like you indicated in your question) about what you'd ultimately like to do in the event med school is not what you end up doing. The thing that a biology major offers is the chance to get a science position w/only a bachelor's degree. My guess is that you'd find it difficult to get a history-related position without going on for a PhD. You'd probably end up finding more positions in the business sector w/a bachelor's in history (although history majors could probably tell you more there!). Good luck w/your decision! [​IMG]

    ------------------
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    --Eleanor Roosevelt
     
  6. PreMedDoc

    PreMedDoc Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking if I don't get into medical school or a practitioner related profession, I wanted to work in health management, or employee health benefits. Sometimes I feel that being a Biology major helps me gain an inner perspective on the inner workings of life (since it is the study of life), and gives me a higher appreciation for the value of human life and how beautiful it is. Though I enjoy history and psychology, I don't feel that I am really understanding the subject itself because there is an underlying mechanism behind the psychological, at least according to my beliefs, and that is the biological.

    Alex from New York City
     
  7. PreMedDoc

    PreMedDoc Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    <<As far as a history major being favored in med school admissions, statistics show otherwise. >>

    What do you mean by this. I know that I have been told that if I major in Biology I will just be a pea in a pod as far as admissions go. However, I thought that maybe if I major in Biology I would have a better technical background because I would be able to feel comfortable with the sciences and to discuss my knowledge of the inner workings of the body comfortably.

    Alex from New York City
     

Share This Page